Good Reasons to Leave Your Job
If you dread going to work or feel like you're going to be fired, Joyce K. Reynolds of Expert Business Coach says it might be time to move on. "Finding a new home for your skills and talents is essential to career well-being," Reynolds says, "Once you've found that place, go toward it rather than 'away from' the job you're leaving with purpose."
This feeling of dread may be due to being unchallenged by your job, your boss, or your coworkers causing undue stress, or your feeling like your ideas and opinions are no longer valued. But does this mean you should quit? Before you hit the job boards, see if you can work out the issue.
"When you are working harder for less, that's a good indication that something is wrong. It could be with you, it could be your company, or your industry," says Keith Woods, president of KB Woods Public Relations.
Schedule a meeting with your boss to discuss what's got you down. If it's the work, you could propose a new set of responsibilities (or conversely, if it's the work overload that's got you with one foot out the door, you could ask for a reprieve). If there are personnel issues, you should bring them up so they can be addressed. If you feel like you're not considered a valued member of your team, express this to your boss, who can then remedy the situation.
If this doesn't resolve your work problems, then it may be time to move on.
How to Quit Gracefully
If you've been harboring anger and frustration about your job or boss, giving your notice isn't the time to release that. Reynolds suggests: "On leaving, express gratitude for the opportunity and all that you've learned—in other words, don't leave angry. Just leave."
It's also a good idea to wait to quit until you've found another job. This can be difficult if you've had it with your work situation, but being financially stable is your priority unless you have extra savings to tide you over until your next role surfaces. In general, employers find you more desirable when you're employed. Leaving a position without having another lined up causes employers to question what happened before they met you.
"It's important that you leave on a positive note with your current employer," explains Woods. "Give them enough time, within reason, to hire a replacement, and give your very best effort until you check out."
And even if you feel like storming out and never coming back, take a deep breath and remember that burning bridges will do nothing to help you in the future: "Do what you can to ameliorate the effects of your leaving," says Harvey Deutschendorf, author of The Other Kind of Smart. "Ask your manager if there is anything you can do to help the new person coming into the position before you leave."
You want to set yourself up in a position to ask for a reference or even get another job at the same company or with some of your old colleagues down the road. You never know what you might need from your former boss, so keep the lines of communication open and professional.
Lindsay Olson is a founding partner and public relations recruiter with Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs.com, a niche job board for public relations, communications, and social media jobs. She blogs at LindsayOlson.com, where she discusses recruiting and job search issues.